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Boon Or Bane Of Longevity

>> Tuesday, March 20, 2012

I recently came across an article titled "Top 10 Hotspots For Human Longevity" and realized that our sunny island of Singapore is in that top 10 list. I followed up with a google on "Singapore life expectancy", google amazingly showed the statistics of 81.3 years according to the World bank source in 2009.

As I am at less than the half way mark of the average, I kind of had mixed feelings towards this result. On one hand, many would celebrate this, especially the Chinese, as it is the culture to emphasize a lot on longevity. However, on the other hand, we have to face the practical and realistic issues.

Looking at the progress of the local economy and society, high inflation seems to be the new normal. 20 years from now when I start considering retirement, it is not difficult to imagine a plate of chicken rice at the market will cost $20 from the usual $2 20 years ago. Conversely, it is difficult to imagine my income growing exponentially from $2,000 to $20,000. Therefore, what will be considered sufficient to live the next 20 years of retirement with no income?

There is the national savings scheme of CPF. However, with housing prices nowadays hitting new highs, a 20 to 30 years loan duration has also become the new normal. This translates to most, if not all, of the CPF-OA funds being wiped out for servicing the loan before retirement. The CPF-RA will be mainly from the CPF-SA and locked in due to the minimum sum requirement before translating to CPF Life that pays, in my opinion, the bare minimum for basic daily living.

This achievement of longevity also comes with a hefty price tag, in the form of advanced medical science. With the availability of new breakthrough technology, this has brought medical treatment cost to higher and higher levels. As the use of this medical help usually comes at the later stages in life, if one is not able to afford it, it becomes a burden on the next generation.

Back to the topic: Longevity, is it a blessing or a curse?

I suppose for those who can afford it and enjoy good health, it is a blessing to carry on enjoying the quality of a long life. However, for those who are ill prepared or have chronic health conditions, the suffering will continue for a longer period of time.

Blessed is the healthy & wealthy! So, live healthy, stay wealthy! Cheers!


agarwood investment March 22, 2012 at 4:37 AM  

Singapore is one of the most well run economies with one of the best governments and civil services in the world. The only risk is demographic. With fertility rates so low, it will become increasingly difficult for a dwindling number of workers to support a growing number of retirees. Its also hard for an economy to keep growing when the labor force shrinks because fertility rates are below replacement levels for the population. Overall though, bet you in 20 years the life expectancy will be easily up to 85 or higher.

Lau March 29, 2012 at 8:42 PM  

I suppose that is why Singapore government is supporting the huge influx of immigrants.



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